So what if I was to grab this scenario for a one-shot game, say with my Wednesday group? Well for starters I'd have to modify it for a group rather than a lone hero. That means ramping up the convict/psycho opposition in numbers and ferocity. Then there's spreading the hostages out in more locations so it's not just about taking one room. Each hostage holding location would be a unique tactical/environmental challenge, roughly the equivalent of a boss battle. Then I would make sure that there were particular environmental challenges to overcome while transiting from each hostage location to the next. Again, each environmental challenge would ensure a unique set of difficulties designed to really test the players as a team. I would look to design more than one approach to each challenge so the players have options to consider and to ensure that the team is not dependent on having a single player class necessary for a particular challenge.
Another angle I would exploit, which was only briefly noted in the film, was the secret, illegal experimentation on the convicts. I could use this to throw in some scary mutants. I wouldn't want to over do it, maybe have one secure section with mutants roaming around--but which the party must traverse to get to something (hostages, escape from the prison, etc.)
As in the film there would also be deadlines to put the pressure on. A couple ideas are:
- The corporation owning the prison remotely activates a self-destruct device to eliminate evidence of the mutant experiments, planting false information suggesting the psycho inmates set up the explosion somehow. The party will find out about the self-destruct countdown and have to decide whether to push on to the hostages more quickly or detour to disarm it, with extra victory points for getting a copy of the incriminating information.
- Critical orbit-keeping drives are damaged/activated during the initial riot and the prison is now plunging towards the Earth--and of course the massive station will impact in a heavily-populated area below if something isn't done. The party can try to repair the drives and get the station back on course--or attempt to get the hostages out before the military blows it into tiny bits small enough to burn up harmlessly on re-entry.